CHARACTER CLOSE-UP : Black Hand
Black Hand (real name William Hand) is a DC Comics supervillain and a recurring foe to Green Lantern. He first appeared in Green Lantern (vol. 2) #29 (June 1964) and was created by John Broome and Gil Kane. The character's name is a tribute to DC writer and Batman co-creator Bill Finger, on whom the character was based.
William Hand is born an inventive genius; developing a penchant for speaking in extremely old clichés later in life. William's family, the Hands, are renowned in Coastville (a suburb of Coast City, California); however, he grows to dislike them early in life. He feels the best way to distance himself from them, especially his three brothers (David, Peter and Joe), is to start a life of crime. After extensive study, he becomes an expert criminal and evades police at every turn. Eventually, his criminal behavior escalates into becoming a costumed supervillain; dubbing himself "Black Hand" (an inside joke he conceives that refers to his status as the "black sheep" of the Hand family).
In preparation for an inevitable battle with the Coast City-based Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Hand makes his most noteworthy invention. The device he creates is able to absorb the residue of a Green Lantern power ring's energy from any object that it touches. Once fueled by this energy, his device can then be used much the same way as a Green Lantern ring. For a while, he retires from a life of crime and attempts to run an adult theatre. This new lease on life is ended abruptly by Guy Gardner and his girlfriend Ice. Black Hand develops a phobia of super-heroes. While trying to reorganize his life into more peaceful pursuits, he encounters Justice League members at the World Trade Center restaurant and has a mental breakdown.
Shortly before the events of Green Lantern: Rebirth, Black Hand's device locates a spare power ring that Green Arrow holds in case of emergency. Hand tries to claim the ring for himself, but is stopped by Green Arrow and Hal Jordan (who is serving as the current Spectre). As Hand attempts to wield the power ring, the emerald archer pins the villain's hand to the wall with an arrow and the Spectre turns his hand to coal; remarking that now "he can live up to his name." Missing his right hand and insane from the trauma, Hand flees. After hearing of Hal Jordan's resurrection, he decides to live in the rebuilt Coast City in order to stay close to his foe. While on board an airplane, he is targeted and abducted by the Kroloteans, a race of mysterious German-speaking aliens that are akin to the gremlins of myth. They perform experiments that enhance his powers, and abandon him in a public park.
He is seen in the Infinite Crisis mini-series as one of several heroes and villains observed by Kal-L and Superboy-Prime.
Post-Infinite Crisis origin
Black Hand's origin was rewritten in the Secret Origin storyline of Green Lantern, and further enhanced in the Blackest Night storyline.
In his updated origin, William Hand's parents run a coroner's office and funeral home, the logo of which is the same symbol William eventually adopts at the beginning of his criminal career. While still a young boy, Hand is shown as having a severe preoccupation with death and the dead that includes implied necrophilic tendencies. No particular trauma or event seems to have inspired this; even as a toddler, William is deeply fascinated by death and dead people, calling them "pretty". It is implied that his first kiss was with a corpse. At first William tries to control his urges by engaging in taxidermy; however, his hobby becomes a source of concern after he kills the family dog in pursuit of his favored pastime. From this point forward William is sent to various psychologists for the remainder of his life with the Hand family. William simply shrugs off every attempt to "cure" him, learning how to hide the most prurient manifestations of his necrophilia and accept the role of the "black sheep."
As part of his newly written background, his energy-absorbing weapon is now portrayed as being built by Atrocitus, a fervent enemy of the Guardians of the Universe. Atrocitus comes to Earth looking for the being who will coordinate the events that come to be known as the Blackest Night; that being is revealed to be William Hand. Atrocitus locates and attacks Hand, believing the black power literally lies within his body. Atrocitus is stopped by Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and Sinestro, while Hand (encouraged by a strange voice) pockets the weapon and flees the scene. He is later seen breaking into a hospital morgue, trying to steal one of the corpses there. When he is confronted by a security guard, he uses the weapon to kill him.
The mysterious voice that tells Hand to steal Atrocitus' weapon for himself traps him under its thrall and influences him into resenting the Green Lanterns. As beacons of light, they upset the perfect balance of darkness and death. Trying to extinguish the light of willpower but unwilling to fight Green Lantern as an "average joe", Hand sews himself a costume using a family cadaver pouch and begins calling himself "Black Hand." Jordan apparently never connects William and his energy-absorbing weapon to his earlier fight with Atrocitus (believing it to be an original creation). Never revealing his weapon's true origin, Black Hand continues to fight him over the years, always retreating to a desecrated grave after each failure. There, he lies with the corpses, hoping for peace and release.
While being transported to prison, Black Hand experiences a sudden power surge that kills his guards and apparently began having visions of the dead planet Ryut and the Black Power Battery.
After the visions he roams the desert, hearing "Death" calling to him. It instructs him to reclaim all the souls it has lost in the DC Universe, including Superman and Hal Jordan. Black Hand returns to his family's house, kills his two brothers, his mother, his father, and then finally commits suicide. While these events unfold, the Guardian Scar arrives at the Hand house. She pronounces that the self-sacrifice "pleases him" and regurgitates the first Black power ring, which reanimated Black Hand. She reveals that Hand is the physical embodiment of death, in the same manner that Ion is for willpower, Parallax is for fear, and the Predator is for love. Hand then announces that he will use his new power to finally extinguish the light.
Black Hand later spies on Hal Jordan and the Flash as they pay their respects at the unmarked grave of Batman. After the two heroes depart, Black Hand digs up Batman's corpse and, speaking his own oath, begins the process of recruiting the deceased hero;
The Blackest Night falls from the skies,
The darkness grows as all light dies,
We crave your hearts and your demise,
By my black hand — The dead shall rise!
—Black Hand, Blackest Night #0 (June 2009)
While holding Bruce Wayne's skull, Black Hand tells the mysterious force behind the Black Lanterns (residing in Sector 666) that no one escapes death. He is later seen after Black Lanterns Elongated Man and Sue Dibny kill Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders. Hand enters the room and proclaims that Hawkman and Hawkgirl will not escape death this time. Two black rings fly out of Batman's skull and Hand commands the two fallen heroes, by name, to rise. Black Hand is also present when the Spectre is taken over by a black ring, gloating to the assembled magic users (such as Blue Devil and Zatanna) that their powers are useless against his "lord's" might.
When the Black Lantern's power levels finally reach one hundred percent, the Black Power Battery teleports itself to the outskirts of Coast City, right on top of the Hand Mortuary. Black Hand watches in delight as Nekron finally rises, and more black rings recruit the bodies of the people who perished when Coast City was destroyed.
When Barry Allen attempts to attack Nekron, Black Hand steps in, using Batman's skull as an "emotional tether" to weaken the hero. He is ultimately defeated when the White Entity is used to convert the several Black Lanterns into White Lanterns, and a white ring attaches to him, reviving him and forcing him to regurgitate several white rings, freeing the Anti-Monitor and destroying Nekron's physical form. He is later seen held in captivity by the Indigo Tribe, chained to the tribe's trademark power staff.
From Blackest Night #2, a back-up feature entitled "The Book of the Black: The Burned-In Thoughts of William Hand" is shown, chronicling Black Hand's childhood memories, and his own personal opinions regarding each of the seven colors of the Emotional spectrum. In the end, his thoughts of the Indigo Tribe turn out to be a scream after his capture, hoping to be released from the Tribe's captivity; but as much of the text is in the Tribe's language thereby remaining indecipherable, except for a few names and four translated phrases.
Black Hand is later revealed to be in an unknown location on Earth somewhat trapped inside of Proselyte, the compassion entity, as the members of the Indigo Tribe gather around them.
When Indigo-1 and Black Hand confront Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, Sinestro, Saint Walker and Larfleeze, Black Hand explains that the ring has 'cured' him of William Hand's sickness. This prompts the others to realize that, with their rings, the Indigo Tribe cannot feel any emotion besides compassion. Hal implies that given Hand's role in the Blackest Night, other Indigo Tribe members may have committed evil deeds in the past. Although the Indigo Tribe offer to take the remaining emotional entities into protective custody, Hal rejects the offer, concluding that he cannot trust them in the search for the entities with this new information. Then the being responsible for abducting the emotional entities appears with Parallax, proclaiming that any who feel emotion cannot be trusted.
The New 52
Black Hand returned when he confronted the currently-imprisoned Hal Jordan on the Indigo Tribe homeworld, the Tribe having abducted Hal and Sinestro now a Green Lantern once again with the intention of converting Sinestro into one of the tribe.With his ring depowered, Hal tricked Black Hand into manifesting the green energy of willpower and using him as a battery to recharge Hal's ring, although the charge was still limited compared to what the ring would have been capable of if recharged normally. Black Hand is freed when guardian Natromo destroys the Indigo Central Power Battery. When the battery is restored, Black Hand's indigo ring tries to reach him, however Black Hand kills himself rather than return to the Indigo Tribe. A Black Power Ring later emerges from his corpse, reviving him as a Black Lantern. Following his reanimation, he returns to Earth and murders everyone in a Chinese food restaurant, he then raises his family from the dead to "have dinner" with him. He lays out his plan to kill and reanimate as many people as possible, reanimating his victims as undead murderers. Meanwhile Sinestro takes Hal Jordan to the Book of the Black to reveal the plan of the Guardians of the Universe to replace the Green Lanterns Corps, however as he opens the Book, Sinestro and Hal Jordan are sucked into it and drawn to Black Hand. Although Hal and Sinestro are able to destroy Black Hand's makeshift army of reanimated corpses by detonating Sinestro's old yellow power battery, they are unaware that Black Hand has witnessed a new prophecy in the Book of the Black; that Hal Jordan will be the greatest "Black" Lantern. After trying to reanimate Hal's father, Black Hand is on the verge of being defeated by both Hal Jordan and Sinestro. The Guardians intervene, charging him up - which apparently grants him enough power to kill both his adversaries - before teleporting him in the Chamber of Shadows for unknown purposes "until he is needed".
Powers and abilities
Black Hand possesses a device that can manipulate the energy of Green Lantern power rings. It can obtain this energy by directly draining it from a ring or through the residue a power ring gives off. Like power rings, however, the device needs to replenish its energy on a regular basis in order to operate. Hand usually recharges his device during battles with Green Lanterns, and has been shown to use it in order to help him locate nearby power rings. The device was recently revealed as being Atrocitus' creation, though it was previously assumed he invented it himself.
Black power ring
After his suicide, Black Hand is reanimated by Scar when she releases the first Black power ring, making him the first Black Lantern. Reanimatd by the ring, the head injury he inflicts upon himself during his suicide is erased, restoring his body to a working state. When the first Black power rings choose wearers, they present themselves to the deceased without a charge. The rings (which constantly ask for "flesh") are recharged by killing living beings and removing their hearts; each heart restores .01 percent power to every ring in the Corps. Black Lanterns are also able to read the emotions of the living as a colored aura that correlates to the emotional spectrum (red for rage, violet for love, etc.).
Indigo power ring
After been restored to life, Black Hand is converted to the Indigo Tribe whose power ring allows Black Hand to perceive compassion in others and to force compassion onto those who feel none.
Indigo light has the ability to heal individuals with great empathy and to expose people to pain they've inflicted on other people. Indigo Power Rings can teleport their users and others over intergalactic distances. This ability utilizes a great deal of power from an indigo power ring, and Indigo Tribe members try to use it sparingly. He has since lost this ability and is currently wearing again a black ring.
CHARACTER CLOSE-UP : Sinestro
Thaal Sinestro is a fictional character, an alien supervillain / anti-hero in the DC Comics Universe. Created by John Broome and Gil Kane, Sinestro is the former mentor of Hal Jordan and the arch-nemesis of the entire Green Lantern Corps. Sinestro first appears in Green Lantern (vol. 2) #7 (July–August 1961). In 2009, Sinestro was ranked IGN's 15th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time. While he was under the possession of the White Entity he was one of the most powerful characters in all of the DC universe.
Sinestro was born on the planet Korugar in space sector 1417. His dedication to preserving order originally manifested in his previous career, an anthropologist specializing in reconstructions of ruins of long-dead civilizations. One day while he was on one such site, a Green Lantern named Prohl Gosgotha crashlanded into the site, injured and apparently dying. He quickly gave his ring to Sinestro, just in time for Sinestro, who barely even understood what the ring could do, to defend himself from the Lantern's pursuer: a Weaponer of Qward; however, Sinestro had to destroy the ruins he had spent loving care restoring in order to crush the Qwardian. Afterward, Gosgotha turned out to still be alive and asked for his ring back to keep him alive long enough to get help. Sinestro, knowing this would mean not being a Green Lantern himself, instead allowed him to die and took over his post. The Guardians were unaware of his actions.
In Green Lantern #45, his wife is shown for the first time in a flashback, and revealed to be the sister of Abin Sur.
His desire for order did well by him in the Corps, and initially led him to be considered one of the greatest Green Lanterns. As the years passed, he became more and more fixated upon not simply protecting his sector, but on preserving order in the society of his home planet no matter the cost. Eventually he concluded that the best way to accomplish this was to conquer Korugar and rule the planet as a dictator.
When Hal Jordan joined the Green Lantern Corps instead of Guy Gardner because Hal Jordan was closer to Abin Sur at the time, Sinestro was assigned to be his instructor. Jordan was horrified at his new mentor's totalitarian methods, though Sinestro maintained that his iron-fisted rule was necessary to protect his people from alien forces. During his training, Jordan helped Sinestro repel an attempted invasion of Korugar by the alien warlords known as the Khunds. When Jordan called for help from the other Green Lanterns, Sinestro's dictatorship was exposed and he was forced to appear before the Guardians for punishment. Katma Tui, the leader of a Korugarian resistance movement who felt that Sinestro's "protection" kept her people from growing as a society through contact with other alien races, was recruited as his replacement in the Corps. Though Katma Tui eventually grew into one of the most respected Green Lanterns, she and the rest of Korugar initially resisted her appointment to the Corps; due to Sinestro's actions, Korugar had come to consider the symbol of the Green Lantern Corps an emblem of terror and oppression.
Punishment and villainy
For using the power of the Green Lantern to instill fear rather than combat it, the Guardians banished Sinestro to the antimatter universe, a counterpart to the "real" universe made up of "negative matter". Sinestro ended up on the Antimatter world of Qward, that universe's counterpart of the Guardians' homeworld Oa, which was ruled by a race of warriors and scientists known as the Weaponers of Qward, who bore a fierce hatred of the Guardians and all Green Lanterns. By exiling Sinestro to a world ruled by evil beings who specifically hated him as a Green Lantern, the Guardians hoped to humble him. Their attempt at punishment would be a major miscalculation, however. Sinestro believed himself to have been wronged by his former masters and now hated them just as much as the Weaponers did. Through their mutual hatred of the Guardians, Sinestro and the Weaponers became allies, with the Weaponers offering to help Sinestro gain revenge on the Guardians and the Corps.
Creating a yellow power ring for Sinestro to use, the Weaponers sent him back to the "positive matter" universe to seek his revenge. Sinestro quickly became the Green Lantern Corps' most powerful nemesis, partially due to a weakness in their power rings that prevented them from directly affecting the color yellow. Despite this, skilled Green Lanterns like Jordan, Sinestro's most hated enemy, always found ways to defeat him.
Pre-Crisis Sinestro first met Hal when he had already made an alliance with Qward. Hal had already beaten the Weaponers three times. Sinestro tried to kidnap him using a device which could transport people to Qward and was able to imprison him in a yellow bubble by threatening to kill 100,000 people who had been kidnapped with the device when he used it on a city Hal was supposed to be at. However Hal used his ring to speed up a clock, making Sinestro think his ring had run out of power. When he released Hal from the bubble to eliminate him, he was defeated and imprisoned in a green bubble by Hal, who did not take him back to his Universe as it would go against the jurisdiction of the Guardians. However he escaped using a ring that could drain the Green Lantern's ring-power and continued to menace Hal. He tried to attack the Guardians after trapping Green Lantern, before disguising himself as him so he could occupy a meeting of Green Lanterns and absorb power from their rings by casting an illusion of a monster so they used their rings. However Green Lantern escaped and defeated Sinestro on Oa, who was placed in a green energy container which would orbit the Universe by the power of many Green Lanterns. But he escaped with a power ring hidden in his boot. He was very adept at escaping the ways the guardians tried to imprison him.
Before the Guardians took a leave of absence from their universe to attempt mating with their female counterparts, the Zamarons, they constructed an inescapable prison for Sinestro and thousands of others on Oa. However, Sinestro's cunning prevailed once again and he managed to free himself through the mental manipulation of the Mad God of Sector 3600. Now wielding nearly unlimited power, Sinestro murdered entire star systems until he was finally subdued by the Green Lantern Corps of Earth. Now guilty of multiple acts of genocide, Sinestro was put on trial again by the assembled membership of the Green Lantern Corps. Finding him guilty, they condemned him to death and executed him, but Sinestro managed to cheat death itself by sending his essence into the Central Power Battery, and shut it down. While in the Battery, he also made a startling discovery about the ancient weakness to yellow within the Green Lanterns' light.
Hal Jordan entered the Battery in a desperate attempt to restore the powers of his fellow Lanterns, and ultimately defeated Sinestro, whose spirit was condemned to remain trapped inside the Central Battery, powerless, for eternity. Yet Sinestro had earned an even greater personal victory as the so-called "Yellow Impurity" turned out to be a sentient entity known as Parallax, the living embodiment of fear. He also discovered the battery's power source was Parallax's green counterpart, Ion, the embodiment of willpower. Thanks to Sinestro's actions, Parallax successfully infected Jordan's mind, leaving the so-called "greatest Green Lantern" vulnerable to fear for the first time in his life and setting up Sinestro's ultimate triumph.
In the meantime, the return of the Guardians resulted in the Corps being re-established. The newly restored Corps would be short-lived, however, thanks to the inadvertent efforts of the alien warlord Mongul and Hank Henshaw, a cyborg who was at the time impersonating Superman. As part of their ultimately thwarted plot to transform Earth into a new version of Mongul's interstellar fortress Warworld and gain revenge on Superman, Mongul and the Cyborg used several nuclear devices to completely destroy Coast City, California, which was Hal Jordan's home, and everyone living in it. Driven mad with grief by the destruction of his city and the Guardians' apathy towards his plight, Jordan's previously indomitable willpower was shattered. Parallax was thus able to possess him completely and push him towards a homicidal rampage that wiped out most of the Guardians and left scores of Green Lanterns dead or maimed, as Parallax sought to absorb the Central Power Battery's energies into his being.
As a last-ditch effort to halt Jordan's rampage, the Guardians freed Sinestro from the Central Power Battery and sent him to stop Jordan. Though Jordan snapped Sinestro's neck after the battle, apparently killing him, it would later be revealed that what the Guardians had actually extracted from the Battery was a hard-light construct of Sinestro, created by Parallax and mentally puppeteered by the real Sinestro from within the Battery. Parallax promptly finished off the Green Lantern Corps by absorbing the Central Battery's energies into himself. With the Battery destroyed, Sinestro escaped and went into hiding as he watched Jordan become what he had always hated Sinestro for being: a traitor and a murderer reviled by his friends and his allies. When the last surviving Guardian, Ganthet, gave the last remaining power ring to Kyle Rayner, Sinestro became obsessed with the young Earthman, realizing that despite Jordan's downfall, his plot to extinguish the Green Lanterns' light had failed.
Sinestro eventually revealed the charade of his 'death' when Kyle Rayner discovered the existence of Parallax and revealed it to Green Arrow and the Justice League. Nearly killing the two heroes, Sinestro was stopped by the newly resurrected Hal Jordan, who reclaimed his ring and was purged of Parallax's influence. The two fought to a draw, with Sinestro escaping to the antimatter universe when his ring was damaged by Hal during the fight.
Sinestro later appeared in the miniseries Villains United, where he captured Lady Quark for the Secret Society of Super-Villains. Sinestro had been a member of the group in the past. Here he plays a major role in the Society's massacre of the Freedom Fighters, who are investigating the meeting place of other villains, but walk into an ambush. Sinestro begins the fight by blowing a hole through the chest of the second Black Condor, killing him instantly. He then defeats Uncle Sam, leaving him for dead.
After the Battle of Metropolis, Sinestro retreated to the antimatter universe. He made a pact with the Anti-Monitor and embraced the doctrine of spreading fear. The Green Lantern Corps is once again reformed with the return of Hal Jordan so Sinestro decides to found the Sinestro Corps, offering yellow power rings and a role in the Corps to the most feared and savage warriors of the universe. He is also revealed to have masterminded the death of Kyle Rayner's mother by having the sentient virus Despotellis invade her as part of a plot to break Kyle's will so that he can become Parallax's latest host.
The Sinestro Corps War begins with an attack on Oa. Sinestro himself returns to Korugar to confront his successor, Soranik Natu. Sinestro defeats her, but makes it appear she has defeated him. This will force her to stay on Korugar to fulfill her responsibilities as "the Savior of Korugar".
Sinestro returns to Qward and joins the battle occurring there. He confronts Earth's Green Lanterns, and upon their escape, follows them toward Earth, the Sinestro Corps' real target. The Sinestro Corps begin attacking Earth. Sinestro reveals to Hal, Guy, and John that he intends to turn Earth into the new homeworld for the Sinestro Corps and the site of the new Coast City into a mass graveyard, "A mecca of fear". During the battle, The Guardians enacted new laws to the Book of Oa. The first new law was to give the Green Lanterns the ability to use lethal force. Sinestro claims he has achieved his overall goal because now the Green Lanterns spread fear by being unchecked. Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner beat Sinestro in hand-to-hand combat. Sinestro is then imprisoned in Oa's Sciencells where he learns from Hal Jordan that he has received a death penalty. Despite his personal defeat, Sinestro claims victory. Sinestro's overall goal through his war was to groom his former Corps for a more active, forceful role in the universe. With the enactment of the Corps' new laws and the approval of lethal force, the Green Lantern corps will inspire fear, creating the same effect as the Sinestro Corps: order through fear.
With the hunt for the members of the Sinestro Corps becoming one of the Green Lantern Corps' highest priorities, many of those who wield yellow power rings have been incarcerated in Oa's sciencells, with their power rings stored in the large chamber that houses the entire detention facility. Sinestro has been shown to have chewed a very large hole in his finger, and he used his blood to paint the insignia of the Sinestro Corps on his cell window. All Sinestro Corps members followed his example, with the result of thousands of emblems across the cosmic jail. Interestingly, when Sinestro formed his insignia from blood, the power rings stationed on Oa seemed to react violently, threatening to break free of their confines.
Rage of the Red Lanterns
Sinestro is to be executed on his homeworld of Korugar. During the transport a group of Sinestro Corps members attempt to free him. Atrocitus and his Red Lanterns intervene by attacking both Corps and kidnapping Sinestro. In the midst of the battle, a Blue Lantern named Saint Walker tells Hal Jordan that Sinestro's survival is crucial in order to stop the Blackest Night. After being taken to Ysmault, he is nailed to a cross to await his execution at the hands of Atrocitus who wishes to make Sinestro suffer greatly by taking his revenge on everything he has ever cared about. His targets include Korugar and Sinestro's hidden daughter. Sinestro breaks free and must go back to his home world to see to family business.
War of Light
After escaping the assault by the Red Lanterns, Sinestro finally reaches his homeworld of Korugar. After rapidly incapacitating Princess Iolande, he confronts Soranik Natu and reveals that his wife took Soranik and left him as he began his rise to power of Korugar. He was eventually able to locate his daughter and give her the mark on her face, his family's coat of arms, along with a micro transmitter so he could locate her. He visited Soranik throughout her life using his ring to alter his appearance. He even took a picture of her and the Natu's at her medical school graduation. Sinestro then says that he's proud of his daughter for succeeding where he could not, namely bringing order to Korugar as a member of the Green Lantern Corps. He then tells her that they must work together to stop the Blackest Night. After leaving Korugar, Sinestro travels to visit the grave of Abin Sur, and makes plans to lead an assault on the homeworld of the Star Sapphires.
When he arrives, he first encounters Carol Ferris. While Sinestro holds no ill will towards Carol and only wishes to free his Corpswomen from Zamaron, he warns Carol that he will hurt her if she stands in his way. Carol then encases Sinestro in a crystal structure, forcing him to relive the death of his love, Arin Sur (Abin Sur's sister). Angered by this, Sinestro bursts free, staggering Carol enough for his Corpsmen to seize her. However, before he can capitalize on the advantage, the Black Lanterns invade, led by Amon Sur, shocking both Sinestro and Carol. Hal Jordan and Indigo-1 then appear, initially fighting off some of the Black Lanterns. Indigo-1 teleports the group to Korugar so that Sinestro may finally confront Mongul. Sinestro defeats Mongul by overriding his rings, then imprisons him within the Yellow Central Battery. Sinestro vows to keep Mongul alive (and torture him), then kill him when the Blackest Night is over. He also proclaims himself to be "leading this coalition" against the Black Lanterns. The Sinestro Corps' celebration is cut short when a ship crashlands nearby, containing Black Lanterns Abin and Arin Sur.
As the Black Lanterns attack, Sinestro is emotionally manipulated by the corpse of Arin. At one point, the corpse even alters itself to look more like a living person and addresses Sinestro by his full name (revealing his first name, Thaal, for the very first time). Just then Hal, Abin, and Carol burst through the streets to where the others are. With all four in place, they destroy Abin's and Arin's rings. Afterward, Hal and Sinestro debate whether to contact the Blue or Red Lanterns, respectively. Hal then makes the decision himself. Sinestro relents, tells his Corps that there is a temporary truce with the GLC, and travels with the others to Odym. After gathering the other Corps leaders, Sinestro and the others follow the Black Lantern battery to Earth, where Nekron has already risen. Under Indigo-1's direction, they combine their lights, thinking it will destroy the Black Lanterns' source of power, but this fails and in an attempt to bolster their ranks, Ganthet duplicates the corps leaders' rings, having them seek out candidates to deputize. Sinestro's ring chooses the Scarecrow. The Black Lantern Spectre then attacks the group. In order to defeat it, Hal releases Parallax from its prison, intending to let it possess him again. Sinestro offers to join with Parallax instead, but is rebuffed. When the restored Spectre manages to separate Parallax from Hal, Sinestro again tries to claim the fear entity as his own, but is foiled when Parallax is pulled away by an unknown force.
In the midst of the battle, Nekron kills a Guardian and uses its blood to summon a large white figure from the earth. Ganthet reveals this is the Entity, the living embodiment of the life force of the universe. It seems Earth is where life first began, a fact the Guardians did their best to hide so as to keep the Entity safe. Outraged at how the Guardians' need for control caused the death of Abin Sur, Sinestro stabs Ganthet with his ring. Hal Jordan realizes the Entity needs a mind to guide it and prepares to fly in but Sinestro cuts him off. He dives into the white energy and emerges as a figure all in white, declaring he's about to show the universe he truly is the "greatest lantern of them all". Entity intones "Thaal Sinestro of Korugar...Destiny awaits".
During the confrontation with Nekron, Sinestro is apparently killed by Nekron, but healed back to life by the White Entity, claiming to be in harmony with every living being in the universe and thus reborn as the true Guardian of the Universe. However, Sinestro proves unable to fully control the Entity's power because of his egomaniacal personality, and Nekron is able to separate them. Hal then comes to the realization that even though Nekron allowed the various resurrections of the heroes he transformed into Black Lanterns, it was they who chose to live again. This enables Hal to access the Entity's power and transform himself and the other heroes into White Lanterns, resurrecting Black Hand and breaking Nekron's tether to the living universe. As the various corps part ways, Sinestro notes that Larfleeze himself has changed, as he actually returns Lex Luthor to the other gathered Corps rather than keeping Luthor for himself after he was forced to briefly share his power with the bald billionaire.
War of the Green Lanterns
In the Brightest Day crossover, Sinestro discovers a white power battery in a crater on Earth. In the first issue of the "New Guardians" story arc, Sinestro reveals that the white power battery wants Hal Jordan. He and the other Corps leaders must pursue Krona, who is trying to capture all of the Emotional Entities. Sinestro must also work with Kyle Rayner and the Green Lantern Corps in an effort to rescue Soranik Natu from a Qwardian, who made Sinestro's original yellow ring.
In the War of the Green Lanterns storyline Sinestro and the other 'New Guardians' are trapped in the Book of the Black by Lyssa Drak while trying to recover the emotional entities from Krona. Hal Jordan alone is able to avoid the book and escapes with the other "New Guardians's" rings. He later uses Sinestro's ring when Parallax is returned to the Central Power Battery, allowing Krona to control all Green Lanterns- Hal and others escaped only thanks to their prior experience with Parallax granting them an immunity to the initial assault-, in order to give himself a weapon against the other Lanterns. While attempting to escape the Book- which forces the New Guardians to re-live their lives prior to acquiring their current rings-, Sinestro discovers Indigo-1 in a prison cell, angrily proclaiming that she will escape whatever Abin Sur has planned for her, although he chooses to focus on his own escape rather than remain to question her more about this, only for Krona to burn the page that Sinestro is on before he can escape. Sinestro and the other are later freed by Kyle Rayner, who 'draws' their escape. Sinestro's ring attempts to return to him, but is overridden by Krona, who wields all seven varieties of power rings. As Hal Jordan battles Krona, Sinestro hears him as he declares his dedication to the cause of the Green Lanterns, and is inspired to join his old enemy in battle. As he fights Krona, a green power ring comes to him, making Sinestro a Green Lantern once more. Sinestro is not interested in becoming a Green Lantern, but the Guardians of the Universe convince him to join the Corps. Later, when the Green Lantern Corps are in disagreement and attempt to kill him, the Corps break into the sciencells, but the Corps discover that Sinestro was in captivity by the Guardians, who are trying to remove Sinestro's green ring, but the ring will not be removed. Later, the Green Lantern Corps were in a meeting by the Guardians that they choose between discipline continuing the fight and starting a mutiny. The other Green Lantern Corps are in agreement.
The New 52
Sinestro is angry that he has a Green Lantern power ring. The Guardians of the Universe state that the ring wishes to redeem him. With the aid of Hal Jordan, Sinestro returns to his home world of Korugar and liberates his people from the out of control Sinestro Corps. Disabling his former group by rendering them comatose, he heads back out into space with the intent of shutting down the entire Sinestro Corps.
Later, he witnesses the prophecy of the Guardians' plans for a "Third Army" and once again retrieves Hal from Earth. However, he is captured by the Indigo Tribe, and is forcibly bound to an Indigo ring. Hal convinces the Tribe that he can help Sinestro atone for his past deeds without being bound to an Indigo Ring.
The two then retrieve the Book of the Black to glean information about the future, but it inadvertently takes them to the evil Black Hand. Elsewhere, The Guardians discuss how they willed Hal's ring to claim Sinestro in order to undermine all the other corps, especially his own. Black Hand engages Sinestro and Hal in combat, whereupon the Guardians arrive and command Black Hand to kill both Green Lanterns. As their life is drained away, Hal and Sinestro fuse their rings together and send off the resulting ring to get help. Soon after, Hal and Sinestro are banished to the Dead Zone.
They wander the Dead Zone searching for a way to escape and encounter the deceased Tomar-Re. He asks Sinestro and Hal to stop Volthoom, The First Lantern. When Simon Baz enters the Dead Zone during a fight with Black Hand, a way out is provided by Green Lantern B'dg. Sinestro reclaims the green ring and exits the Dead Zone with Simon.
Sinestro then teleports to his home planet of Korugar to rally support against the First Lantern. Volthoom attacks and consumes the hopes and fears of the Korugarians. With his new found power levels, Volthoom destroys the entire planet, leaving Sinestro in the rubble.
When Kyle Rayner and Carol Ferris arrive at Korugar's remains, Sinestro attacks, but immediately notices that Kyle is now a White Lantern. Sinestro demands that Kyle resurrects Korugar, but Kyle is unable to do so. Sinestro takes the white ring to become a White Lantern himself, but it rejects him as an unsuitable host. He then claims the yellow power battery instead and leaves to exact revenge.
He arrives on the planet Oa and strikes Volthoom, but their battle is interrupted by the Indigo Tribe. The Tribe opens a portal to the Dead Zone, allowing Hal to escape as a Black Lantern. Volthoom engages Hal and reality begins to unravel. Sinestro turns to the Yellow Central Power Battery and releases Parallax, becoming its new host in order to attack Volthoom with heightened power levels. Volthoom is ultimately defeated when Hal Jordan summons Nekron.
Afterwards, Sinestro reactivates his Sinestro Corps and heads off to kill the Guardians for all that they have caused. Hal attempts to talk Sinestro out of this course of action in order to save him from himself. However, it was too late as Sinestro reveals that he had already killed the Guardians before Hal intercepted him. Sinestro vanishes and leaves Arkillo in charge of the Sinestro Corps. Reappearing elsewhere, Sinestro secretly brings Ganthet and Sayd together, stating that he knows what it is like to lose everything, but exiles them both from Oa.
During the Forever Evil storyline after Batman uses a yellow ring, Sinestro appears to confront Power Ring. Sinestro follows Power Ring through the sewers, eventually severing his right arm and allowing his ring to go search for a new host. Relieved to be free, Power Ring dies thanking Sinestro. After that, Sinestro joins Batman and Catwoman, and the rest of Lex Luthor's team into taking down the Crime Syndicate. When it comes to the final battle against the Crime Syndicate, Sinestro and Black Adam move the moon where the sun ends up weakening Ultraman. In the aftermath of the battle against the Crime Syndicate, it was stated that the villains who helped to stop the Crime Syndicate would have their criminal records wiped. Sinestro and Black Adam didn't care about that and left in their separate ways, along with the other villains.
The visual design of Sinestro was based upon British actor David Niven. However, the alien features of Sinestro's physical appearance have been depicted inconsistently in both comics and animation over the decades.
Sinestro's skin color (and that of other Korugarians), although often diegetically described as simply "red", is rarely depicted as such, ranging from pink, deep scarlet, purple and, perhaps most commonly, magenta, depending on the colorist.
Additionally, many artists portray Sinestro with an upwardly elongated forehead (similar to the original design of Hulk villain The Leader, albeit less extreme), while others artists have bestowed him with more human cranial proportions. He was initially bald, but now boasts a human-like head of black hair. The villain's ears are also inconsistently depicted, being frequently drawn with tapering pinnae in the same manner as Vulcans and Elves, yet he is also commonly shown to have human-shaped ears instead. Oddly, other characters from Korugar such as his successor Katma Tui and even his own daughter Soranik Natu are virtually never depicted with these features of either the tall forehead or elfin ears.
Additionally, due to the fact that his name is derived from the Latin word sinestra, meaning "sinister" or also "left" and "left handed", and commonly associated to wickedness, Sinestro has been often depicted in the comic books as left handed. This trait has also been faithfully portrayed in other media, such as in the animated film Green Lantern: First Flight and in the live-action film Green Lantern.
In other media
Sinestro has been prominently featured in Challenge of the Super Friends (where he was part of the "Legion of Doom") voiced by Vic Perrin with additional dialogue provided by Don Messick. He is shown to have the power to travel to the antimatter Universe without much trouble.
Sinestro appeared in the Super Friends episode "The Revenge of Doom" voiced again by Vic Perrin. He is with the Legion of Doom when they get back together again.
In 1979, the late comedian Charlie Callas played Sinestro in the Legends of the Superheroes live-action television specials.
Sinestro first appears in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "In Brightest Day..." voiced by Ted Levine. He battles against the newly recruited Green Lantern Kyle Rayner. He is portrayed here as a renegade former Lantern and has just killed Abin Sur. He is defeated by Superman and Kyle Rayner.
Sinestro later appears in the Justice League series as part of Gorilla Grodd's Secret Society voiced again by Ted Levine. Since John Stewart is the Green Lantern featured in both stories, it is made clear that Sinestro has a grudge against the Green Lantern Corps in general, as opposed to a specific vendetta against Rayner.
Sinestro appears in Static Shock episode "Fallen Hero" voiced by Ted Levine. Sinestro steals John Stewart's Green Lantern battery following a fake distress signal he created and attacks Dakota disguised as him. With help from Static, John Stewart managed to defeat Sinestro.
Sinestro is also a member of the new Secret Society on the final season of Justice League Unlimited, featured as a powerful and competent member of a train heist in the episode "The Great Brain Robbery", as well as saving the lives of several members of the Secret Society from Darkseid in "Alive!" with the help of Star Sapphire. He is once again voiced by Ted Levine.
Sinestro appears in the Duck Dodgers episode "The Green Loontern" voiced by John de Lancie. He attempts to kidnap all the Green Lanterns. He is stopped by Dodgers himself. Dodgers pointed out his devilish appearance to him.
Sinestro appears in the episode "Ring Toss" during the fifth season of The Batman, voiced by Miguel Ferrer. Just like the comics, Sinestro served as Hal Jordan's teacher in the Green Lantern Corps until he went power hungry and was stopped by the Green Lantern Corps. This version of Sinestro has a rather bulbous upper cranium and a longer moustache than usual, resembling a horseshoe or Fu Manchu than his usual pencil style. Sinestro escaped from his prison (thanks to Tomar-Re warning Jordan) and came to Earth where he attacked Green Lantern (before he had a chance to recharge his power ring) at the airport as Hal Jordan sends his Power Ring to Batman. When Penguin ended up with the Power Ring, however, he used it to commit a series of petty thefts. He fought Batman, Robin, and Hal Jordan. Sinestro, however, attacked Penguin, calling him stupid and unworthy to possess the ring. Penguin ended up reluctantly giving the ring to Batman. Batman placed the ring on his own finger to fight Sinestro. However as Penguin had expended much energy with his foolishness, the Power Ring started to weaken and sputter. Once Hal Jordan recharged his Power Ring, he helped Batman fight Sinestro where Sinestro was disarmed of his ring by Batman (who ironically opened his hand with Sinestro's power ring in it) who then knocked out Sinestro. Green Lantern then took Sinestro back to his cell.
Sinestro appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold as a Green Lantern, voiced by Xander Berkeley. He helped Batman, Guy Gardner, and G'nort defeat Despero. He along with G'nort and Guy Gardner were freed from an Oan holding cell by Batman who was transported by Hal Jordan's ring to Oa to help the remaining members of the Corps after Despero seemingly destroys all the active members. He and the others empower Batman's suit for the job. When Batman was fighting Despero, he mentioned that Sinestro was in jail for destroying the Okaran warships, taking every living being on those ships with them. Sinestro then created a puppet government loyal only to him. He attempted to blow up Mogo, only to be stopped by Gardner. Gardner imprisoned Sinestro in his ring at the end. A heroic version of Sinestro appears in "Deep Cover For Batman", with a yellow costume that resembles Hal Jordan's costume. His yellow outfit and yellow power ring are homage to the Sinestro Corps.
Sinestro is introduced in the Green Lantern: The Animated Series episode "Prisoner of Sinestro", voiced by Ron Perlman. Hal Jordan and Kilowog receive a distress call from Sinestro, whom Hal reveres as a legendary Green Lantern, to rescue him and his captive—a body-jumping alien he has illegally captured on a mission for the Guardians. Onboard Hal's space cruiser, Sinestro is briefly possessed by the alien and attacks the crew. Later, they determine the alien consciousness is hopping bodies and cannot be pinned down. Realising that it cannot use the power rings of those it possesses, Sinestro depressurizes the ship to flush it into the open, as power rings protect their wearers in deoxygenated environments. It returns to its host body and enters a state of shock, while Sinestro privately gloats that he left the sciencell depressurized on purpose to kill the creature, in violation of the Green Lantern code. He reports its death to Hal and his crew as a tragic accident, but his coldness regarding the death of his captive leaves Hal suspicious that his former mentor may have crossed a line.
Victor Garber voices Sinestro as the main antagonist in the Warner Premiere animated feature Green Lantern: First Flight. In the film, Sinestro is a respected member of the Green Lantern Corps who believes the Guardians and the Corps aren't proactive enough to maintain order of the universe. Seeking to overthrow Oa in order to instill his brand of order through fear, he collaborates with Corps member Boodikka and dictator Kanjar Ro in search of the Yellow Element to create a weapon that could destroy the Corps. He later frames the newly recruited Hal Jordan for Ro's death before seeking the weapon made from the element by the Weaponers - the yellow ring and power battery. After Sinestro defeats the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps, Jordan absorbs the Guardians' Green Element power source and challenges the despotic Korugarian. The yellow power battery is destroyed by Jordan and Sinestro's ring, along with his hand, is crushed by Kilowog. Sinestro's was most likely put into a prison cell for his crimes. When Sinestro takes possession of the yellow ring, his costume is changed from a Green Lantern uniform to his Sinestro Corps uniform. However, the ring itself is just a yellow copy of a Green Lantern ring, although much more powerful thanks to the yellow weakness of the green rings.
In the animated anthology film Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Sinestro was voiced by Jason Isaacs. In the film, he is still a member of the Green Lantern Corps. During the fight of Atrocitus with his friend, Abin Sur, Sinestro remarks: "If I had a power ring for every time I'd heard that, I'd have my own Corps," alluding to the Sinestro Corps. The Sinestro Corps is shown in Atrocitus's "vision" to Abin Sur, upon being re-imprisoned.
Mark Strong portrays Sinestro in the live-action film Green Lantern, released on June 17, 2011. He is presented as a respected member of the Green Lantern Corps, who is dedicated to his duty with benevolent intentions to defeat Parallax throughout the film, and suggests that the Guardians of the Universe create a yellow ring of fear in order to defeat the fear entity. Hal Jordan manages to convince the Guardians that giving into fear to stop fear will not solve anything. At the end of the film, after Parallax is defeated by Jordan, Sinestro is shown to be putting on a yellow ring, which implies that after seeing the destruction that Parallax has caused and Hal's higher elevation in the Corps above his, he desires more power.
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